Should I Be Honest With My Physician About Drug Use?

When you are seeing a doctor or physician, it is often difficult to know how much you should tell them, and how much you should hold back. You probably already know that the general rule of thumb is to ensure that you are being as honest and upfront with your physician as possible. In general, that allows them to be able to prescribe you the best course of treatment and give you the best care.

However, there are times when this might not be easy or simple to do, and one such time is when you have a history of drug use. Let’s take a look at this in detail.

The Fear

For most people with a history of drug use, the main fear around telling their physician about that history is that it will be shameful in some way. You might be worried that your doctor will refuse treatment, or that they will make you feel bad about it. Or, you might simply consider it a private matter, and not want to share it any more than is necessary. All of these fears are perfectly ordinary and natural, and you should not feel bad for feeling them.

Doctor-Patient Confidentiality

Now consider the fact that your doctor has a sworn and legally-upheld duty not to disclose any personal information about you to anyone else, unless they are court-ordered to or they believe someone is in harm’s way. If they were to tell anyone about your drug use for no good reason, they stand to lose their license and potentially face prison. So as you can see, there is a robust system in place to ensure that you can trust your physician as much as you would hope to. This should help you in feeling able to tell them about your drug use as necessary.

The Dangers Of Not Telling Them

There are actually many dangers associated with not telling your physician about your drug use. In particular, this might be related to when you are due to be going on some kind of medication. When this is the case, there are many medications which can cause a lot of harmful effects if taken in combination with other illicit drugs. So not being honest in this case could lead to potentially disastrous, even fatal, consequences. It is clearly much better to be honest and avoid that issue altogether.

On top of that, you might not be offered the best kind of treatment if you are not honest about your drug use, and it could be that you take longer to recover from whatever is going on. So as you can see, all in all it is always much better to be honest about your drug use with your physician. It is better for them, for the two of you in a professional setting, and most of all, it’s better for your own health prospects.

So in summary: always ensure you are as honest as you can be with your doctor. It might save your life!

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